Just thought I’d share some tips for learning French, something I am trying to do, from Babbel, the ‘system’ I chose to help me learn. I am road testing these tips and may circle back to tell you how I went later. The 5 tips in summary are:
- Know why you are doing it
- Integrate learning the language into your daily life
- Build associations with your environment
- Less is more when you do it regularly
- Act like a child
Detail about each to follow … keep reading
… and here is the detail around each tip. Skip to the end if you want to see my answers 🙂
Know why you are doing it
This might sound obvious, but if you have a good reason to learn a language, you’re more likely to stay motivated in the long run. Want to talk to a French person, or travel to French-speaking countries? Whatever your reason, once you’ve decided, it will be easier to reach your goal!
Looking for more reasons? Discover some here.
2. Integrate learning the language into your daily life
Learning a new language is easy! Simply associate it with things you already like doing — it makes learning much more interesting and relevant. Listen to French music, watch movies, tv shows or cat videos in French — you’ll soon notice how quickly you pick up new vocabulary.
3. Build associations with your environment
Your environment is full of vocabulary that you can use. Use sticky notes to label every object in your house — and enjoy driving your housemates or loved ones crazy! Handy tip: Don’t just label stuff — build associations with useful vocabulary. For example, don’t just write “the light switch”; other phrases like “to turn on” or “to turn off” can also be useful! Next, try forming little sentences using your new phrases throughout the day.
4. Less is more when you do it regularly
You’ve got half an hour? Great. Only 15 minutes today? No problem. What’s important is that you learn regularly, and that you find time for it in your daily routine. Use those little spare minutes in your day for an easy dose of French learning. When you’re in the bus, do a lesson on your smartphone. Waiting at a cafe? Try to remember some vocabulary relevant to your environment.
5. Act like a child
The key to learning as quickly as a child may be to act like one – a lack of self-consciousness and a willingness to make mistakes can be extremely helpful in learning a new language. Get rid of your fear, and go talk with a French native speaker (even if they’re not interested in what you did at work today). Having someone to talk to is perfect for trying out new words and building your confidence. Plus, it will push you to try just a little bit harder, and to stick with it!
Last but not least, have fun with it! Using your new language in any way is a creative act: make a radio play with a friend, draw a comic strip, write a poem, or try to make puns in French!
- I am learning French to: have fun, fulfill a ‘life long’ dream to learn French
- I love to watch French movies and listen to music on YouTube – one of my favourite movies is Amelie (a French movie with Audrie Tautou)
- I like to relate what I see out of the window of the bus to work each day with their French names 🙂 and I sometimes pretend I am in a petit cafè and drink cafè au lait 🙂
- Less is more is the hardest one – too many other things to do each day *sigh* but I try, I try
- Acting like a child comes naturally to me 😀
- … and the bonus is, it is a lot of fun for me!!
Anyone else trying to learn a language and find these tips useful or offer some of their own tips for success?